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Hamantaschen

hamantaschen

Purim is this Friday, March 21st, less than one week away.

For those who aren’t familiar with Purim, it is a festival as opposed to a major holiday or “holy day.” Purim involves the story of the attempted destruction of the Jewish people, the subsequent escape to “freedom” and much feasting, a set of themes that run throughout many of our celebrations.

Purim is recorded in the Book of Ester and dates back to 600 BCE. At this time, Jewish exiles in Babylonia found themselves under Persian rule, with the spread of the Persian Empire. Haman, an adviser to the King of Persia, Achasverus, made plans to kill the Jews. Instead, Esther and her brother Mordechai thwarted these plans –with the help of divine intervention.

Rather than becoming the victims of evil decree, the Jews were allowed by the King to hang Haman; the day after his killing was designated as a day for feasting and rejoicing which we celebrate into the present. A bit macabre, though some Jewish holidays are.

This celebration now entails reading the Book of Ester and shaking groggers (noise makers) each time Haman’s name is mentioned. Further, children dress up in costumes (often as Haman, Mordechai or Esther, though anything goes these days), families exchange shaloch manos (English translation: “send gifts”) of food baskets and bake cookies called hamantaschen.

Hamantaschen, literally means Haman’s pocket in Yiddish. In Hebrew, these three cornered cookies, little triangles stuffed traditionally with poppy seeds or prune filling, are called Oznai Haman, or Haman’s ear. Alternatively, it is thought that Hamantaschen are a representation of the three cornered hat that Haman wore. Whatever these cookies represent, I love to make them every year in celebration of Purim!

Hamantaschen

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Filling:

  • 1 cup currants
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 1 whole vanilla bean
  • 6 slivers lemon rind
  • 1 cup dried apricots, chopped in quarters
  1. In a vitamix, on high speed, puree currants in 1 ½ cups water until smooth
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine currant mixture, apples, vanilla bean, lemon rind and dried apricots
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft, about 45 minutes



Dough:

  1. In a large bowl, combine almond flour and salt
  2. In a smaller bowl, mix together oil, egg, agave, and vanilla
  3. Mix wet ingredients into dry
  4. Roll dough into 1 inch balls; place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, then press flat into small circles
  5. Scoop one teaspoon of filling into each circle of dough
  6. Fold the dough in from three sides and pinch the corners to form a triangle shaped cookie
  7. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes until dough is golden brown
  8. Serve

Makes 18 hamantaschen

As I mentioned, traditionally Hamantaschen are stuffed with prune paste or poppy seed paste. While I liked the tradition, these tastes were a little strange to me growing up. Now, these gluten-free Hamantashcen are filled with a more familiar, yet slightly exotic filling. I hope you like them as much as we do!


           
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March 15, 2008


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24 comments


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24 comments leave a comment

  1. Ya'ara @ bishulog.co.il

    Hi Elana,

    These looks great!!
    I hope I have time to make these this year, although I’m sure I’ll use a poppyseed filing

    Purim Sameah!

  2. lital

    Hey Elana,

    It so funny, I was just looking for new recipes for Hamantaschen… well, we call it “Haman’s Ears” but it’s the same thing :) any way, here you are with a new one for me :) I’ve never tried it with almond flour before, but I’m sure it’ll come out great.

    thank you and happy Purim :o)

  3. emma leigh

    thank you for explaining Purim. =)

    i hope you and your family have a great & delicious holiday. these look yummy!

  4. These look great Elana! It was wonderful reading all about Hamantaschen, hope you and your family have a great festive celebration!

  5. Elana, thanks so much for posting this! We tried to make gluten-free hamantaschen last year with Bob’s Red Mill GF flour and they really left a lot to be desired–almond flour sounds like a much better option, and it’ll be exciting to try them out this week!

  6. Elana

    Ya’ara -Let me know how your Oznei Haman turn out with the prune filling. Purim Sameah!

    Lital -Glad you found this recipe and thanks for stopping by!

    Emma Leigh – You are welcome; it is my pleasure.

    Meena -If you decide to try them, let me know how you like this Purim treat.

    Hannah – Yes, I think the almond flour works very well for GF cookies, it holds together well, has a nice texture and is much higher in nutrients than the other GF flours. Let me know how you like them when you try out the recipe!

  7. Ya'ara @ bishulog.co.il

    Hi Elana,

    Eventually I came up with a recipe of my own, where the dough is based on the poppy seed filling, and as a Filling I used almond flower.

    It came out beautifully!

    Happy Holidays!
    Ya’ara

  8. I’ve never really enjoyed hamantaschen, maybe because I’ve never had a great one. Since I love anything made with almond flour your version looks very delicious, and the filling is so natural looking and I’m guessing not icky sweet. Super blog!
    Heidi

  9. Ya’ara-That sounds amazing! So creative. Please let me know your recipe. I would love to try it out!

    Heidi-Thanks for your comment. Nothing over here is “icky sweet” (I like that term) as I don’t do well with overly sweet foods and have pretty much weaned myself from them over the years and lost all taste for “icky.” :-) I hope you enjoy the hamantaschen if you make them!

  10. Maryann

    Wow, I couldn’t be more surprised to find a recipe for Hamantaschen. I bought these little goodies many years ago from a Jewish bakery and absolutely loved them! The place is too far away from me now so finding this site is a treat in itself! I’ll have to keep the number made to a minimum, because I’ll eat them all! Thank you!

  11. Glorie

    Hi Elana!
    I’m going to make these for Griffen’s purim party on Sunday! Any suggestions on how to make a chocolate filled version?
    Thanks so much! PS – Griffen’s migraines are under control and he’s doing great!
    GloriE

  12. Glorie -Funny you asked; I’m working on a chocolate Hamantaschen recipe for this Purim and will probably have it up in the next week or so. Glad to hear that Griffin is doing better :-) That’s huge!

  13. Becky

    I made this recipe this morning and they came out great.

    The crust is terrific. I improvised on the filling boiling down some dried fruits I had in the house and doctoring them up.

    These were so easy to make.

    Everyone will love these.

  14. Stephanie

    I am studying Esther, I will have to try these. Thanks.

  15. We are finishing up our Esther Bible Study by Beth Moore and she provided a recipe for Hamantaschen in the workbook. I was so thrilled to find your recipe that I could make gfcf! I always love your recipes and am so grateful for all the work you have done to perfect them for us! Thanks so much!

  16. Shari

    Gluten free, dairy free choc chip cookies and Hamantaschen?!? And I can’t believe you have a recipe for Matzoh Ball Soup…I’m so happy I could just cry! I thought I’d never eat that again…I must be dreaming. I am SO happy to find your website.

  17. Wow try to say that name 3 times. It looks yummy will put this on my to do list for next week.

  18. Esther

    Thank you Elana! This looks delicious! My daughter loved the RH honey cake and we can’t wait to try these this week. Thank you for offering these recipes so we can all celebrate together!

  19. Rachel

    i can’t get the printer friendly version to work :(

  20. Kim

    I wish you included nutritional information for those who are watching calories, carbs, and fat.
    Your recipes are lovely, and I am sure delicious, but not suitable for me because it is just too time consuming to have to enter each individual recipe into an online calculator to figure out what I am eating.

    Regards, Kim

  21. Elana,thank you so much for the recipes!
    My daughter and I had a hamentashen baking marathon with the last batch finally in the oven. We started out with your newest chocolate coconut ones (the are GREAT!!!!) and are finishing with this goody. However, when I made the dough for this recipe, the oil separated out of is and was oozing while I was rolling the circles and is now bubbling around each hamentashen while it is baking. WHere did I go wrong? WHat happened?

Elana cannot answer comments and does not provide nutrition data. Please see the FAQ's for more information.



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